Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 27: Arroyo Grande to Lompoc, CA

Today's 45 mile ride took us from Arroyo Grande to Lompoc, CA. As we near our final destination the traffic has increased and the quiet country roads have become a distant memory as we pedal down parts of Highway 101 with cars whizzing by at 70 MPH. As terrifying as it sometimes was riding along narrow winding roads with little more than a guard rail between us and the sea crashing several hundred feet below, I prefer it over the southern California traffic that we are now encountering. 

With only one day left to our ride, I think everyone will be happy to roll into our final hotel in Ventura tomorrow afternoon. In addition to the fatigue of biking 45-85 miles each day, after nearly 4 weeks of excellent weather and well-organized travel, we encountered our first rain showers and hotel snafu. When we arrived in Lompoc we found that our hotel, the O'Cairn's Inn, had closed!  Apparently someone forgot to notify WomanTours and we arrived to find the hotel vacant except for a few workers removing furniture from the rooms. Fortunately for us, there was a Red Roof Inn next door and we were able to get rooms for our entire group. As for the weather, it started with sprinkles around 3 pm and by 5 pm it was raining. Normally we eat outside, but tonight we crammed into the hotel lobby where we enjoyed our final dinner prepared by chef Michelle while watching the presidential debate.   

Today's destination was Lompoc, CA, traditional homelands of the Chumash. In fact, the name of the city is derived from the Chumash word "Lum Poc" which means "stagnant waters" or "lagoon." Today Lompoc has became primarily a military town of nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base. Located close to air force base is a Federal Correctional Institution. Not exactly the quaint seaside towns we've experienced during much of our trip, but Lompoc has its charm with the many murals that decorate the city's public walls. 

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